Saturday 10-23-16 Martínez, Argentina
Today we read: Job 13 – 14 and Acts 17 -18
S. Acts 18:8 Crispus, the leader of the synagogue, and all his household believed in the Lord. Many others in Corinth also became believers and were baptized. NLT
O. Jesus had given specific instructions to not only make disciples, but to baptize them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. So, although it is not mentioned in each case, apparently, Paul and his team followed Jesus in all that He taught baptizing those that believed.
A. I was made aware of the importance of water baptism when I became pastor of a church in the USA. Colfax was a small town with a large Roman Catholic church building. It was apparent that many of the founders of the city must have been from that religious background. As a pastor, I was thrilled each time a sinner came to Christ. I was satisfied to disciple them and lead them deeper into the things of God. But when Ricky requested water baptism, I realized that this was a giant step for him. His parents had baptized him when he was a baby… and another baptism was in effect a declaration to their family that now they were making their own decision to follow Christ in a new and fervent way. And most disturbing, it was also a declaration that their infant baptism was not a valid baptism at all… nothing like what Jesus had ordered… since its value is found in a public testimony to all that they have already chosen to die to one life and rise to another, a new life that the Lord Jesus has set in motion.
P. Dear Lord Jesus, I thank You for Your word. Crispus was the leader of the synagogue. It certainly was a giant step for him and his family. Jesus was wanting true disciples, willing to make a break with the past and begin a new life. Now serving for many years in Latin America I can see the deep meaning to these new believers. To some it means severing delicate ties to their parents and family. Water baptism is important to You, Lord Jesus… so it is important to us, too. Amen.
Note: After one 30 day crusade in a park, we had several hundred new believers. One night Pastor Osvaldo Carnival baptized 99 of them. It was a giant step for many of those new believers.